for as long as questions have existed people all o’er the world have asked why certain people die @ certain times & why certain people don’t. ¿what makes 1 cancer kill & ’nother be killed? sure, there are laws o’ biology — laws much too complex for e’en the greatest biologist to fully understand.
in any case, if we are talking ’bout st. hawthorne general hospital, a clean, modern building right in the middle o’ central boskeopolis, i can give you the answer: e’ery midnight a mechanical device, what its engineers blackly called “the reaper”, does in faith to its name & calculates, & thru those #s & thru the influence o’ its tendrils o’er e’ery part o’ the hospital, thru subtle shifts in the temperature or air quality o’ individual rooms, weakens the immune system o’ certain patients so that they are induced into death where it would not have happened otherwise.
there exist various theories as to what logic lurks in these calculations. some theorize that it operates primarily on the science o’ economics, culling those whom the computer realizes are a cost & not a profit, build this way to ensure that this private business maintains the surplus necessary to maintain its own existence; others theorize that it is strange algorithms based on the current day or the photons emanating from stars & quasars. only the unknown engineers ’hind this machine know, & they are not telling.